European U-21 medalists JORGIC and KOZUL favorites in SloveniaPhoto: ITTF
26th Slovenian National table tennis championships
The small town of Puconci in the Prekmurje region near the Slovenian-Hungarian border will host the 26th Slovenian National table tennis championships on March 4th and 5th 2017. With the absence of Slovenia’s finest, Bojan TOKIC, it looks like the youngsters are set to create more history.
Deni KOZUL, bronze medal holder in singles at the recently concluded inaugural European U-21 Table Tennis Championships alongside Darko JORGIC, is the defending champion and will look to repeat the success in PUCONCI. JORGIC has enjoyed more success on the international level and even held the top spot on the European under-18 rankings for a few months. Currently ranked 138th in the World, he's the favourite to clinch his first senior title. Alongside KOZUL, Jan ZIBRAT, a three-time former champion, will be looking to stop the trend and get the better of JORGIC and KOZUL, who have eclipsed him in the last couple of seasons. ZIBRAT was struggling with injuries earlier in the season and hasn't really fulfilled his potential after winning a bronze medal at the 2010 EYC in Istanbul.
In women's singles, it's difficult to look past the three-time reigning champion Manca FAJMUT and Slovenia’s current number 1 Alex GALIC who has worked extremely hard to reach the 123rd place on February's ITTF world ranking. GALIC has been known to struggle on the national level and has never really shown her full potential. She'll be hoping to put those memories behind and grab her first national singles title. Tamara PAVCNIK and Ana TOFANT will also have their say, both having caused the main favourites some problems in the past.
KOZUL and ZIBRAT will defend their doubles title and will be looking to win for the third time in a row. Twins Zala and Nika VERONIK are the defending champions in women’s doubles, while Uroš SLATINSEK and Manca FAJMUT won the mixed-doubles title 12 months ago.
With World Table Tennis Championships just around the corner, the stakes will be even higher. National captains Jože URH and Vesna OJSTERSEK will be following the event closely in order to decide who will be representing Slovenia in Düsseldorf.